What would beer be like if it was brewed on a generation ship?

Humans have been fermenting grain-flavored liquids into some simulacrum of beer for more than 10,000 years. And so it stands to reason that, over the next 10,000 years, we'll continue finding ways to combine water and yeast with some kind of sweetener and a floral bittering agent, whether out of some adherence to tradition, or just to take the edge off of after a long day of galactic work.

Over at Tor.com, novelist Arkady Martine, author of the celebrated space-opera A Memory Called Empire, decided to take the thought of space beer and follow it all the way to its logical potential ends. How, exactly, would one be able to brew beer in the confines of a spaceship, using only the basic knowledge that we currently possess around the science of agriculture and fermentation?

Ingredients necessary for beer: water, yeast, and a starch that the yeast can work upon.

Ingredients you want if you’d like your beer to taste vaguely like the beer we know: malted barley, hops.

Let’s start with yeast. The usual yeast is a brewer’s yeast, most often Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which happens—helpfully—to be the same species as the yeast that makes bread rise. Yeasts are little live creatures—single-celled microorganisms that love to eat sugars and transform them into carbon dioxide and alcohol. They need to be kept alive. A generation ship would have had to bring a yeast colony, perhaps in the form of a sourdough starter, and feed it regularly with starches and sugars, in order to be able to have a steady supply of small organisms to brew beer with.

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Woman spots her dog, lost in Idaho, on a Florida brewery's "adoptable dogs" beer can

Last week, Bradenton, Florida brewery Motorworks Brewing made headlines with their idea to put local animal shelter dogs' photos on their beer cans to help with pet adoption. Monica Mathis saw the story and recognized her dog Day Day who went missing three years ago from her Idaho home. So she called. From WFTS:

(Manatee County Animal Services's Hans) Wohlgefahrt said they checked and Day Day did have a microchip with Monica's first name, but her last name had changed and the information on it was outdated. (She had since moved to Minnesota.)

Mathis was able to provide paperwork to prove to Manatee County Animal Services that Day Day was actually her dog, Hazel.

"Once I got the confirmation I just couldn’t believe that this was actually my dog," said Mathis.

How Hazel got from Iowa to Florida is unknown.

(Thanks to our Florida bureau chief, Charles Pescovitz!) Read the rest

No, coronavirus has nothing to do with Corona beer

As seen in the above Google Trends graph the last few days, there has been a spike in people searching Google for the words corona, beer, and virus. Don't worry, drinking Corona beer does not cause 2019-nCoV. Below are the results mapped onto regions of the world.

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'El Chapo' beer launched by murderous druglord's daughter

“El Chapo” ran a global narcotics crime ring and escaped two maximum security prisons before being captured, extradited to the United States in 2017, found guilty in 2019, and sentenced to life in prison.

Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman's daughter Alejandrina Guzman just launched a beer branded with her dad's name, because nothing matters.

Excerpt from Reuters:

The beer is part of the “El Chapo 701” brand, which has already launched a clothing line, and gets its name from when Forbes named him the 701st richest person in the world in 2009. Forbes estimated his net worth at $1 billion at the time.

“This is an artisanal beer, with 4% alcohol. This prototype is a lager, and it’s made up of malt, rice and honey so it’s good,” said Adriana Ituarte, a salesperson for the brand. “And the idea is for it to be sold at bars that stock craft beer.”

A 355 ml bottle is due to be priced at 70.10 pesos ($3.73).

Read more: Drink like a Mexican kingpin: 'El Chapo' beer launched by daughter [reuters.com, Jose Luis Osorio, 1-17-2020, image courtesy El chapo beer] Read the rest

Canada legalized pot. Beer consumption there dropped.

“Volume decline accelerated in 2019, down 3% through November.”

The new availability of a wide array of legal marijuana products has is beginning to take a bite out of beer consumption in Canada, reports Bloomberg News. Read the rest

A 1953 colloquium pondered the question "Did Man Once Live By Beer Alone?"

Photo of glass of beer by Alan Levin

The folks at JSTOR Daily have unearthed the proceedings of a 1953 colloquium that pondered a great question: Did early humanity first cultivate grain not for the purpose of making bread -- but brewing beer? Or, as official title of the event asked, "Did Man Once Live By Beer Alone?"

If the latter is true, then we owe the very concept of agriculture to the delights of getting sozzled.

As the proponents of that theory noted, beer-like drinks are arguably easier to create than bread. The former requires less technology:

The proponents of the beer-before-bread idea noted that the earliest grains might have actually been more suitable for brewing than for baking. For example, some wild wheat and barley varieties had husks or chaff stuck to the grains. Without additional processing, such husk-enclosed grains were useless for making bread—but fit for brewing. Brewing fermented drinks may also have been easier than baking. Making bread is a fairly complex operation that necessitates milling grains and making dough, which in the case of leavened bread requires yeast. It also requires fire and ovens, or heated stones at the least.

On the other hand, as some attendees pointed out, brewing needs only a simple receptacle in which grain can ferment, a chemical reaction that can be easily started in three different ways. Sprouting grain produces its own fermentation enzyme—diastase. There are also various types of yeast naturally present in the environment. Lastly, human saliva also contains fermentation enzymes, which could have started a brewing process in a partially chewed up grain.

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German motorist douses Autobahn car fire with beer

Because of course he did.

Watch this craft brewery canning machine can some beer

There it goes, making little cans of adorable fizzy beverages! Read the rest

LG to unveil home brewing hardware at CES 2019

Being able to dance and dodge my way out of attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas every January is one of the most important acts of self-care I commit to all year long. While it's always nice to catch up with colleagues at CES, the crush of human misery, drunk assclowns looking to cheat on their partner while they're off the leash in Vegas, and the multiple viruses that make the rounds each year at the event are a few of my least favorite things. This year, however, I almost regret turning down the opportunity to eat at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill every day for a week in between appointments and trips to the Las Vegas Convention Center: LG Electronics is said to be unveiling a fancy new home beer-brewing kit.

From Tom's Guide:

Similar to other home brewing systems, the HomeBrew uses capsules that contain everything you need—malt, yeast, hops, and flavoring—which you insert into the machine, add water, and press a button.The machine then sets the correct brewing temperature and time, and in about two weeks, will produce up to 10.5 pints (1.3 gallons) of beer.At launch, five packets will be available: American IPA, American Pale Ale, English Stout, a Belgian Witbier and a Czech Pilsner. The HomeBrew also has a self-sanitizing process, to ensure that your batch of beer isn't skunked. An app will also let you monitor the progress of the brew. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of making beer at home.

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Climate change will make beer much more expensive

Over the next century, higher temperatures and an increased number of droughts will hit the global barley supply, pushing beer prices way up. University of East Anglia economist Dabo Guan and his colleagues developed multiple scenarios based on several climate and economic models. Nature:

The researchers then simulated the effect of these droughts and heat waves on barley production by using software to model crop growth and yield on the basis of weather and other variables.

They found that, globally, this extreme weather would reduce barley yield by between 3% and 17%. Some countries fared better than others: tropical areas such as Central and South America were hit badly, but crop yields actually increased in certain temperate areas, including northern China and the United States. Some areas of those countries saw yield increases of up to 90% — but this was not enough to offset the global decrease.

Finally, Guan and his colleagues fed these changes in barley yield into an existing economic model that can account for changes in supply and demand in the global market. This enabled them to look at how reduced barley production would affect pricing and consumption of beer in countries, as well as trade between nations.

In the worst-case scenario, the reduced barley supply worldwide would result in a 16% decrease in global beer consumption in the years of extreme-weather events. Prices would, on average, double...

One goal of the research, Guan says, was to make tangible how "climate change will impact people’s lifestyle... Read the rest

Clear Beer

In Japan, Suntory has come out with a new beverage called All-Free All-Time, a clear, non-alcoholic drink that is purported to taste just like real beer.

The bottles and commercials are pushing this as a drink to enjoy over lunch, at your office, during a meeting, or after you workout.

I tried a swig. A nice hearty stout, it is not.

Photo: Thersa Matsuura Read the rest

Carvel's Fudgie the Whale ice cream cake is now also a beer

Fudgie the Whale is back. But this time it's not just a "whale of a cake," it's a whale of a beer.

On Wednesday, Carvel announced a stout brewed with chocolate crunchies and fudge, aptly named Fudgie the Beer. The stout is a limited-edition Father's Day collaboration with craft microbrewery Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford, New York.

The novelty brew is said to have "smooth cocoa notes with a roasted crunchies finish" and would pair well with "roasted or smoked foods as well as chocolate or espresso desserts." If you have a "whale of a dad" and need to get your hands on this special beer, you'll have to head to New York state, as it's only available at the Captain Lawrence Beer Hall. (If you want some for real, be sure to check when it will be available again. The first batch sold out yesterday evening.)

I have just one question: Why, oh why isn't this an ale? It could have been a whALE of a beer.

For old times' sake, here's the original ad for the Fudgie the Whale cake narrated by Tom Carvel himself:

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This alchemist's guide to alcoholic beverages is clever and lovely

Musician Regaip "Rego" Alp Sen created this cool and comprehensive alchemist's guide to alcoholic beverages. Colors and sidebars denote pairing combinations. Read the rest

A Texas brewery made a purple, glittery ale with Peeps

Easter is on April Fools Day this year but what I'm about to share is not a joke.

A brewery in Texas, The Collective Brewing Project in Fort Worth, has crafted a Peeps-filled ale that will be ready for the holiday. It's a collaboration with local bar Lone Star Taps and Caps, according to Dallas Morning News' Guide Live:

Called Peep This Collab, the beer is a sour ale brewed with Peeps, vanilla and butterfly pea flower, which will turn the beverage purple. Brewers added more than 30 boxes of the marshmallow candy, says Steven Roman, general manager of Taps and Caps. And once the beer has fermented, they'll add edible glitter to really make it shine.

Collective's head brewer and co-founder Ryan Deyo says, "Several of us were just sitting around the brewery talking about how beer has become this super serious thing. I've been on a kick to assert beer should be a fun thing... We make a beer with ramen noodles, so Peeps isn't really a stretch." Read the rest

Pabst Blue Ribbon 99-pack

During the holidays, cases of cheap American lager were available to Canadians which isn't exactly news but these weren't ordinary cases. Read the rest

This 3D Lucha Libre beer stein is awesome

I just came across the Münkstein collection of modern-day beer mugs and steins. I was particularly taken by their Lucha Libre stein. Why? Because its art pops when you view it with ordinary red-and-cyan 3D glasses (which are included in the sale price of $56).

It's designed by Dr. Alderete (whose art you should definitely check out):

Lucha Libre Beer Stein holds 1 Liter and is 10 inches tall. Fast Cars, Sexy Babes, Aliens, Werewolves and more all take on Lucha Libre for a chilling action packed adventure.

Prints of the art itself are available for $40.

Previously: Ornate Cthulhu stein Read the rest

This is, er, golf cart body-surfing beer-drinking

I bet their parents are very proud.

Occurred on August 9, 2017 / Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Canada

A few buddies and I were golfing at one of the local courses, the group ahead of us were moving very slow so while we were waiting on them I came up with the idea. We took a few practice laps down the fairway then got out the beers and camera and made this masterpiece.

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